A LUCKY MAN

NATIONAL FILM & VIDEO FOUNDATION OF SOUTH AFRICA - as FIN

unknown - Completed 2012

Ernie Solomon is a man in search of his identity. Is he the product of his
circumstances, a victim of fate, or a violent criminal destined to live on
the periphery of society? Or is he a “lucky man”, one who discovers that
he has to become a self-directed agent, a master of his own destiny?

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • unknown
    • Countries
    • SOUTH AFRICA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Synopsis
    • Based on the real life story of legendary former South African gangster
      Ernie “Lastig” Solomon, “A Lucky Man” charts one man’s violent rise from
      childhood in the slums of Cape Town to one of today’s most infamous
      criminals. “A Lucky Man” is a morality story in which the perplexing issues of identity and ethics are played out in the life of a man literally living on the edge. Born into a family where he is branded a nuisance (Lastig) and an outsider by his family, and growing up in a city and country in which he is a member of a community deemed neither white nor black, Ernie “Lastig‟ Solomon sets out on a road paved with crime, violence and abuse in search of himself and a place he can call home. It is the universal tale of humanity: the longing for belonging.
      Set in the impoverished Cape Flats, a peri-urban sprawl on the periphery of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town, “A Lucky Man” traces Ernie’s quest as he collides with both family and society. He becomes the ultimate outcast, a bastard son and a criminal. For such a man, there is but one home, prison, the “Big House”, the
      inevitable destination. Ernie has an inventive propensity for self-creation. He assumes identities at will which,
      through a mixture of cunning and luck, enable him to survive. But he is driven by an irresistible search for his real self and trusts only his own instincts to take him beyond mere survival. He is unable to escape the „nuisance‟ of his self-badgering: to know himself and to be known for who he is.
      The young Ernie Solomon discards the trappings of childhood respectability and begins the search for an identity of which he can feel proud. The teenage Ernie trades on his innocent looks and natural quick wit to embark on a life of petty, then violent crime. During an inevitable spell in prison, Ernie is forcibly initiated by blade and at last
      discovers a „society‟ in which he can earn respect and thrive. On release, proudly bearing his facial scar and his “Lastig‟ nickname, Ernie the man is finally prepared to carve out his slice of society and reap revenge on those who have crossed him.
      As a fully-fledged crime lord, Ernie is challenged by rivals and hunted by police. Only if he can continue to fight hard to protect those close to him and keep one step ahead of his enemies, does he stand a chance of remaining a lucky man.
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